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Grandpa's VW 1302 LS

Nearly a TV-Star

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This photo was taken at the day of delivery, december, 30th 1970. Notice my Grandma and my Grandpa :-)
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Summer 1992: After lots of effort I visited the car once again.
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The car was still in Heidelberg, Germany. But it's condition was very much more bad than I expected.
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Many parts weren't original, f.e. the drivers door.
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Also the engine was changed by an older one with less hp.
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The interiour also was in poor condition. What a pitty.
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Rust, everywhere rust. This car was rusty at points I've never seen before rust at a VW 1302.
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Even the dashboard was in poor condition. I clearly remember both of the VDO-gauges my grandpa installed by himself.
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At least an overview over the dashboard of the L-equipped VW 1302.

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At december, 30th 1970 my grandpa picked up his brandnew VW 1302 LS at his dealer in Heidelberg, Germany. For many years and lots of kilometers the vehicle has transported the whole family across Germany and Switzerland without any serious problems. I think my grandpa loved his VW 1302 LS, he optimized the carburator and my mother told us often her experiences of this time. My grandpa told her to apply vaseline on every chrome part in order to prevent them of rusting away.

Within 1981 my grandpa sold the car in nearly new condition. For the present noone knew where the car was.

My grandpa died in 1988. A really sad moment in my life. His second wife (I won't say anything to her) had one good in her life and gave me some documents of the car. She knew that my favourite car is a VW 1302 as well as my grandpa.

This documents gave me the advantage of knowing the VIN of my grandpa's VW 1302 LS. Due to the circumstance he sold it in nearly brandnew condition within 1981, I thought it should be also in good condition in 1991, so I decided to find out it's history and it's owner. I wrote a letter to Kraftfahrt Bundesamt, a national organization in Germany where all vehicles are registered. Because it's not allowed for them to give me the address of the owner, I enclosed a second letter for the owner. I asked them to forward it to the owner so it would be his decision wether he contacts me or not.

Very long time there happened nothing so I gave up my hope to hearing something from the present owner of the car. Also I thought it'll be possible that the car isn't on the street. It could be possible that it had an accident and that it's parted out and recycled already for a long time. I had no idea about what's going on without my notice.

The present owner called a famous german TV-Show that surprises people. The producing company contacted my girlfriend and they would restore the car and give it to me within the last production of the TV-Show. So the owner sent photos of the car, my girlfriend sent photos of her and mine and the company had a few calls with her. Why me and the beetle were no TV-Stars: I don't know. The company told (which is really true) the last few shows already had lots of car-surprisings. They wouldn't have another car within the show. But I by myself wouldn't believe it because the organization of giving me the car in the last TV-show was already nearly completely finished. I don't know the real reason.

In spring of the year 1992 my girlfriend took me for a trip to Heidelberg. I didn't know the destination and was very excited and happy to see the car once again. So I want to thank all involved persons for their support.

The husband of the owner would have been selled the car to me. He wanted 500,- Euro/Dollar for it. The car was in such a bad condition and at this time I had another restoring projekct in my garage, so I denied the deal in order not to have too much work. Also the car really wasn't worth this price. I recognized how the owner and her husband are getting more unfriendly so I'm now thinking, they only wanted to sell the car to me for a good price.

The story continued long time because I remember very clearly the both gauges my grandpa installed by himself. As a child they were fascinating for me and I often looked at them (without really knowing what they are showing) ;-) I remember very clearly how I'm reading Ceis in spite of Cels printed on the thermometer-gauge. So I wrote several times to the owner, without any response. Then I enclosed postcards with stamps on it to reply me without any costs for the owner. I asked her to dismount the gauge my grandpa installed and mount the same gauge brandnew at the same place. I repeated this time after time, letters, postcards and so on.

Nothing happened. No reply. I wouldn't have had problems if she made a cross at 'Please give up and never write me again' but there were no reaction at all. So I decided to phone her and after lots of tries I had her at the phone. She denied all my wishes by saying to me, she wanted to keep the car as original as possible to let it restored in the future. I had to respect this NO but couldn't understand it. How she wants to keep this car original, it was not really in original condition, lots of parts were not original. And the funniest thing is: I wanted the gauge my grandpa installed himself. So also this gauge isn't original, but I gave up.

So I'll never have the gauge, what a pitty. But I'm very happy I had the chance to see the car again and wanted to thank once again all involved people, especially my girlfriend :-)

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